Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks’ political thought and the state of Israel

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An internationally renowned scholar and theologian, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (1948–2020), longstanding Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth (1991–2013), suggested a direct discussion of the State of Israel. By way of exploring the way he viewed the modern State of Israel, this article discusses Rabbi Sacks’ overall communitarian, covenant based ideas before focusing on three categories: national narrative, the invigoration of civil society, and the place of religion. His most distinct criticism relates to the interrelationship between religion, the political system, and the state, illustrated inter alia by his insistence that ‘Judaism must be depoliticised and put back where it belongs, in civil society, far removed from all structures of power’.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)700-715
Number of pages16
JournalIsrael Affairs
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Israel
  • Jonathan Sacks
  • civil society
  • communitarianism
  • covenant
  • national narrative
  • religion and state


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